The Best Outdoor Workouts to Mix Up Your Routine
To get fast results, take your sweat sesh al fresco. A study from California Pacific Orthopedic and Sports Medicine found that outdoor exercisers lost an average of 7.43 pounds and 6.17 percent of body fat in eight weeks.
That’s because outdoor workouts challenge your muscles with inclines, declines, and obstacles, explains Tina Vindum, founder of Outdoor Action Fitness in Marin County, California. You’ll also improve your mood and boost self-esteem by performing outdoor exercises, according to research from the University of Essex in England. (Related Everything You Need to Know About Burning Fat and Building Muscle)
Rev up your usual routine by doing this 30-minute outdoor workout circuit, developed by Vindum. Try it in your backyard or at a local park—you’ll burn about 250 calories with these outdoor exercises while firming up all over. Then be sure to keep reading for 10 more unique outdoor workout ideas to keep things fresh and fun.
First, check out two fun outdoor workouts to ger you started.
Total-Body Outdoor Workout Circuit
How it works: Before you get started with the nine-move outdoor workout, warm up with at least five minutes of power walking or light jogging. Perform each move for the prescribed time or number of reps. Then wipe off your sweat and consider one of the other outdoor exercise ideas below.
1. Side Leap
Targets inner thighs, quads, calves, glutes
Stand on a flat surface with your feet together.
Bend your knees and hop as far as you can to your right, landing on the ball of your right foot.
Without returning left foot to the ground, bend your right knee and hop as far as you can to the left. (Related: Cool Off During Your Outdoor Workout With This Pool Routine)
Do 20 hops per side.
2. Park-Bench Dip
Targets triceps, shoulders, core
Sit on a bench and place your hands on either side of your hips.
Slide your butt forward, supporting yourself with your hands.
Bend elbows, bringing upper arms almost parallel to ground, then return to starting position.
Keep lower back close to the bench throughout the exercise. (Check out why triceps dips are so ridiculously effective.)
Do 15 reps.
3. Park-Bench Push-Up
Targets chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, core
Stand facing a park bench and place your hands on the seat; walk your feet out behind you until your legs are fully extended.
Bend your arms and lower chest toward bench, then push up.
Complete 12 reps.
Turn around and place your hands on the ground and your feet on the bench; walk your hands forward until they’re aligned under shoulders, legs extended.
Lower chest toward ground, then push up. Complete 8 reps.
Work up to 20 reps of each.
4. Tightrope Walk
Targets calves, quads, core
Find a curb or fallen tree with a smooth surface that is at least 6 feet long.
Raise arms out to sides and walk across the “tightrope” until you reach the end (or go at least 6 feet).
Turn on the balls of your feet; walk in the opposite direction. (Related: Just How Good Is Your Balance?)
Continue for 3 minutes.
5. Side Shuffle
Targets glutes, inner and outer thighs, quads
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, elbows bent, with fists near ribs.
Take three giant steps to your right, sliding your left foot to meet the right.
Bend your knees and jump up, turning to face the opposite direction.
Repeat, shuffling to your left.